Los Blancos currently sit four points clear of second-placed Barcelona at the top of the table, while Alaves occupy 16th, six points clear of the relegation zone with four games left.
It is very much advantage Madrid at this stage of the campaign, with Zinedine Zidane's side sitting four points clear of second-placed Barcelona, who have dipped since returning to action after the lockdown period.
Barca will have the chance to move to within a point of their bitter rivals when they face Espanyol in the Catalan derby on Wednesday night, although the gap will again be four if Madrid were to overcome Alaves in this match.
Four points with three games left would be a huge advantage; Zidane's team do have potentially tricky games against Granada, Villarreal and Leganes to come, although it would be a surprise if they did not manage to pick up enough points in those fixtures to finish at the top of the pile.
Madrid have now won their last seven in the league, including their last three 1-0, which is title-winning form; their performances have not always been pretty since returning to action last month, but a run of four straight clean sheets is an indication of their improvement in that area of the field.
Only once since the 2011-12 season have Los Blancos managed to win La Liga, and they will be determined to pick up all three points on Friday to move a step closer to lifting the trophy.
Barcelona will be hoping that Alaves can do them a huge favour in this match, but the omens are not exactly terrific for the Basque side, who are currently 16th in the table.
Indeed, Los Babazorros have lost each of their last five in the league, scoring just once in the process, which led to Asier Garitano being sacked as head coach at the weekend.
Juan Muniz, who last managed Malaga in 2019, has been placed in charge of the club until the end of the season, and the 51-year-old's first assignment could not be much more difficult.
Alaves are enjoying their fourth season at this level of football, and it would be a surprise if they were relegated despite their poor form, which has seen them slide down the table.
A total of 35 points from 34 matches has left them in 16th position, six points clear of 18th-placed Mallorca, which is a healthy advantage at this late stage of the campaign.
Real Madrid La Liga form: WWWWWW
Alaves La Liga form: WLLLLL
Nacho's ongoing absence with a thigh problem means that Zidane has decisions to make in defence; Raphael Varane should be back from a head injury, having already returned to training, and the Frenchman could be joined at centre-back by Eder Militao.
The strugglers are otherwise in good shape when it comes to injuries, though, and it will be very interesting to see how Muniz approaches this game in terms of formation.
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Mendy, Militao, Varane, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Vinicius, Benzema, Asensio
Alaves possible starting lineup:
Jimenez; Aguirregabiria, Laguardia, Magellan, Marin; Pons, Fejsa, Pina, Mendez; Joselu, Perez
We say: Real Madrid 2-0 Alaves
Even with Madrid's injury and suspension problems, it is difficult to imagine Alaves picking up something from this match. Los Blancos could only be a point clear at the summit by the time that they take to the field, but we expect Zidane's side to put another hugely important three points on the board.